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Why you should care about contractor compliance

A facilities manager shakes hands with a contractor who is wearing a yellow high vis jacket and a blue hard har

For facilities managers, leveraging contractors is a key part of the job. However, the plethora of compliance activities required to engage contractors can be overwhelming, and is often frustrating for facilities teams.

But is it worth the trouble? How much risk is really involved for facilities teams who fail to comply with regulation?

From licences, serving to qualify a contractor for the job, to insurances that mitigate financial risk, each piece of paperwork serves a purpose.

In this blog, we'll look at some of the major motivators to commit to contractor compliance.

Keeping people safe

Everybody deserves to get home safe from work, and complying with regulatory guidelines improves the chance of that happening.

Regulations have the benefit of hindsight, they can work backwards after an incident to see how it could have been avoided. The resulting regulations leverage that knowledge to create frameworks designed to keep people safe at work.

Reputational risk

Contractors will often seek to work only with businesses who have developed a reputation as being a safe place to work. Whether your business is hoping to engage contractors, recruit talent, or seek investment, reputation matters.

Conversely, a reputation for being lax with adherence to regulation encourages bad actors. Contractors who view regulatory requirements as a waste of time prefer to work with organisations sharing a similar view.

Regulatory risk

All other motivating factors aside, a compelling reason to care about compliance, is the consequence of non-compliance.

Depending on the nature of the infringement, fines can range from hundreds, to hundreds of thousands. In some jurisdictions, more severe infringements can even lead to jail time for responsible individuals.

While one would hope that keeping people safe is enough motivation, consequences dictated by regulators provide a last-line-of-defence deterrent for negligence.

The compliance conundrum

With an ever-growing and extensive lists of concerns, it can sometimes feel like all too much to jump through the metaphorical hoops put in place by regulators. Engaging contractors often involves a mountain of paperwork, from insurance documentation, all the way to permits to work.

Even the best of intentions can be supressed by the sheer amount of work involved in ensuring complete compliance. The reality is, there are a lot of activities to co-ordinate, and a lot of information to manage.

Where to start

Conquering contractor compliance starts with laying a strong foundation of streamlined, scalable processes. Compliance is a part of everyone’s role in FM, so it is important to ensure those processes are accessible and easy-to-follow.

Critical to contractor compliance is the recording and organisation of relevant information. Information like licences, accreditations, insurances etc. must be recorded alongside relevant expiry dates, work orders and assets.

With outdated paper and spreadsheet-based processes, compliance is often a series of arduous tasks. Chasing up information, recording it, and then finding it to reference every time a job comes up creates opportunities for error, even with the best of intentions.

The right tools can create efficiencies in processes, and significantly reduce the risk of human error. With modern software solutions, processes can be streamlined into a logical flow, underpinned by scalability and supported by automation.